PTSD the Real Deal.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat. Among those who may experience PTSD are survivors of accidents, rape, physical and sexual abuse, and other crimes.

Many people with PTSD repeatedly re-experience the ordeal in the form of flashback episodes, memories, nightmares, or frightening thoughts, especially when they are exposed to events or objects reminiscent of the trauma. Anniversaries of the event can also trigger symptoms. People with PTSD also experience emotional numbness and sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, and irritability or outbursts of anger. Feelings of intense guilt are also common. Most people with PTSD try to avoid any reminders or thoughts of the ordeal. PTSD is diagnosed when symptoms last more than 1 month.
Physical symptoms such as headaches, gastrointestinal distress, immune system problems, dizziness, chest pain, or discomfort in other parts of the body are common in people with PTSD. Often, doctors treat these symptoms without being aware that they stem from an anxiety disorder.

Questions and Answers:

Q: What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? PTSD is a real illness?
A;  People may get PTSD after living through a terrible and scary experience. It can be treated with medicine and therapy. If you have PTSD, you often have nightmares or thoughts about the terrible experience you went through. You try to stay away from anything that reminds you of your frightening experience You may feel angry and unable to care about or trust other people. You are always on the lookout for danger. You feel very upset when something happens without warning.

You can get PTSD after you have been:
·         Raped or sexually abused
·         Hit or harmed by someone in your family
·         A victim of a violent crime
·         In an airplane or car crash
·         In a hurricane, tornado, or fire
·         In a war
·         In an event where you thought you might be killed
·         Or, after you have seen any of these events.

Q:  When does Post-Traumatic Stress start and how long does it last?
A:  For most people, PTSD starts within about three months of the terrible event. For some people, signs of PTSD don't show up until years later. PTSD can happen to anyone at any age. Even children can have it. Some people get better within six months, while others may have the illness for much longer.

Q:  Am I the only one with this illness?
A:  No. You are not alone. In any year, 5.2 million people have PTSD. (USA)

Q:  What can I do to help myself?
A:  Follow these steps on getting help.
·         Talk to your doctor about the terrible event and your feelings. Tell your doctor if you have scary memories, depression, trouble sleeping, or anger. Tell your doctor if these problems keep you from doing everyday things and living your life, explain how you feel. Ask your doctor for a checkup to make sure you don't have some other illness.
·         Ask your doctor if he or she has helped people with PTSD.
·         Special training helps doctors treat people with PTSD. If your doctor doesn't have special training, ask for the name of a doctor or counselor who does.
·         Get more information. Call 301-443-4513. (USA)

Q:  What can a doctor or counselor do to help me?
A:  A doctor may give you medicine to help you feel less afraid and tense. But it may take a few weeks for the medicine to work. Talking to a specially trained doctor or counselor helps many people with PTSD. This is called "therapy." Therapy can help you work through your terrible experience.

For more information about post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders, contact:

National Institute of Mental Health Office of Communications and Public Liaison

Phone: 301-443-4513
FAX: 301-443-4279
Mental Health FAX4U: 301-443-5158
TTY: 301-443-8431

6001 Executive Blvd.
, Room 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

PTSD is a very real thing. But with a good Victimologist, church help and spiritual leadership, strong ties to friends and or family, and forgiveness for yourself, and those who have hurt you, this is a way you can slowly begin to rebuild your life. Medication, exercise, laughter, hobbies, and at times being on disability can help you heal. rest eating well, taking care of yourself, and serving others can also help. But the most important thing you can do, especially if you are a victim of violent crime, is to try to forgive your abuser. This is impossible without the help of God alone. Talk to God, tell Him, you are bitter angry, enraged, feel guilt, and allow space for Him to heal your entire being. Try to let go of flashbacks, by immediately saying no to them, when they begin. Insomnia is a huge part of PTSD, journal, play games on your computer, what movies that are funny and try to be with people who love you for you, and understand that you have been through a horrifying event. Fear is an unruly part of PTSD, but fear never helps us recover. When feelings of fear begin, breath and remind yourself, you are no longer in the place the violence, war, or incident occurred. Make sure when fear begins to paralyze and try to weaken you, that you take courage in the truth, that you are a survivor, you are still here and have a great purpose in life. At some point, some of the symptoms will calm down. But you have to try to not be hard on yourself. Give yourself a chance to go through the healing process. I am praying for you!